‘Reign’ deviates from norm with outstanding plot
“Reign,” a new series on the CW network, may or may not be my new favorite show. Though only three episodes have been televised so far, I’m already hooked. Set in the year 1557 in France, the series is a far cry from shows like Vampire Diaries, Supernatural and Carrie. Nonetheless, the network portrays the era well, and has expanded its horizons beyond vampires (somewhat of an impressive feat) and cults, to a real event.
Introduced earlier this year, “Reign” is based off of the blue blood Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) and her adventures at French court. Engaged to crown prince (Toby Regbo) since birth, the Monarch travels to the palace in order to finally play her part in an alliance that will save her native Scotland from English rule. But upon arriving, Mary discovers that the engagement she’s been relying on her whole life is a sham, and France has been using the alleged compact as a placeholder for an alliance with another nation. Thrown into the midst of court intrigue and a political game, Mary must fight for Scotland’s best interests.
And though the series stays true to history in some aspects, “Reign” also takes their creative license to the extreme, not that I’m complaining. It features relatively unknown leads, such as Torrance Coombs as Sebastian, Prince Francis’s half-brother, and many others who are a surprisingly talented cast. Each character is likable in their own sense and has a certain depth that most characters nowadays lack. The performances are earnest and believable; “Reign” has spun a together a story worth watching.
In addition to acting and plot lines the outfits put together are appropriate for the era, and I’ve fallen in love with every dress Mary has worn. The set, with its grand castle and beautiful grounds, adds so much to the aesthetics of the show. The cinematography is only enhanced with shots of the French sea cliffs and other nature scenes. The music, an eclectic arrangement with an emphasis on grassroots folk, doesn’t seem like it would be in sync with the series, but works surprisingly well. The first two episodes heavily featured The Lumineers, and even though third took a new route, it continued on with the same sound.
All in all, there’s not much I can speak to the bad parts of “Reign,” although it’s not very true to history, at the end of the day. It’s a TV show on the CW, after all, so I think that’s excusable. Though it’s only scheduled for 13 episodes in the first season, I think the show’s going places. All in all, “Reign” is a keeper.
By Ashleigh Atasoy